Venezuelan Exodus Documentary 

                                                        Venezuela Documentary

   UIMF Members at Venezuelan Exodus Documentary Presentation  

Members of the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), the Foreign Affairs club, UVU Rotaract, and their spouses participated in an activity focused on aspects of sustainable development in South America. The documentary, titled, UPROOT: The Venezuelan Exodus, premiered at a local theater on July 17th, 2021. This event was of particular interest to me, as the Director and President of Kova Films, Hayden Henninger, labored alongside me during religious service in Colombia from 2016-2018.

Following the eventual completion of our LDS mission and subsequent return home, Hayden soon set foot again on international soils. He sought to publicize and promulgate greater understanding about a neglected and obscure truth behind the suffering of a people.  

The Venezualan migration has evolved into one of the largest yet most underfunded refugee crises in modern history. Millions have undergone a treacherous journey through the far eastern reaches of the high Colombian Andes in search of sustainment; ultimately remaining in mountainous regions in Colombia, Peru, Chile, and other Latin American nations.

                                                                                   Venezuela Documentary 1

The documentary became an exceptional production that meticulously captures the hardships experienced by refugees and the deplorable tragedy of the fallen Venezuelan state. Yet, out of this wretched state of affairs, Hayden convincingly demonstrates there is hope and new life to be found - if we nurture it.

The message is clear. The international community must firmly support the sustainable development of mountain areas globally within the 2030 Agenda.  

                                                     UIMF at Venezuelan Video

                       Members of the UIMF and its affiliate organizations pose with family members and documentary director, Hayden Henninger

            The event was enlightening for all present and a personal reminder of the real mountain people and issues that I became familiarized with during my service. This activity allowed for UIMF members to interact in a way that fortified bonds and dedication to improving these communities. 

                                                               Karren in Columbia

                                                                                          Myself in Bogotá, Colombia, 2018. 

                                            Dallas and friends in Columbia

                                                       Hayden Henniger (left), myself (middle), Piere Hildebrandt (Peruvian, right), at Monserrate 

Dallas Karren, President, Utah International Mountain Forum, a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University 


                                STUDENT REFLECTIVE ESSAYS